12 Self-editing Tips for Christian Authors
(Barbara Joe Williams, Editor)
Christian authors face unique challenges when it comes to composing, especially nonfiction works. Hopefully, these self-editing tips will make the editing process smoother for them and their editors. Happy self-editing!
- Any references to the Bible or Scripture should always be capitalized. For example: “For the Bible says…” Or “In this Scripture…”
- Any pronoun referencing God/Jesus/Lord, should be capitalized. For example: “We praise Him on most high.” Or “Lord, let Your will be done.”
- New King James Version (NKJV) is the only Bible that is not copyrighted to my knowledge. Site the reference source on the copyright page.
- Bible quotes should be in quotation marks (unless God/Jesus is speaking), but not the citations. For example: The Bible says, “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16).
- If God/Jesus is speaking, Bible quotes should be written in italics. For example: God said, Let there be light.
- Bold, quotes, underline, italics, and multiple exclamation points are not necessary to make a point. Choose stronger words or one style over the others. For example: “I love the LORD!!!” Should simply be: “I love the Lord!”
- Prayers should always be indented and written in italics.
- Amen is not always capitalized. For example: It’s, “In Jesus’ name, amen.” Or “In Jesus’ name. Amen.” And there should not be an s after the apostrophe as in: Jesus’s.
- If paraphrasing Bible verses, don’t use quotes or italics.
- Capitalize the full name of a church, but the church should not be capitalized. For example: We went to the church today. We’re going to Calvary Baptist Church tomorrow.
- Pastor or reverend is not capitalized unless it is followed by a name. For example: We have Pastor Johns in the pulpit. But the reverend couldn’t make it today.
- Also, Bible study and Sunday school should be written without capitalizing the words study or school.
That’s it for now! Just remember to write in one person and one tense, and you’ll be fine. Happy writing!
For more details or information, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most authors usually cannot do self-editing of their own books. They fall in love with their own writing and get blinded by their flaws. They simply can’t detach from their evaluation of their work.
The most important step for all Christians authors is fact checking. They need to make accurate statements and document them properly. Please make sure Bible references are accurate if using them in the manuscript.
- Use style guide for editing standards
- Do multiple sentences instead of long sentences – same for paragraphs
- Junk words – that, very, and really